Gothic meets French in this dimly lit East Village restaurant. Chandeliers and candles provide the source of light, illuminating the red and black walls. Low, throne style chairs fill the lower level of the room with high, velour stools and grey marble counter tops lining the smaller side room. The dark décor makes the restaurant cozy, attracting duos of friends or couples sipping cocktails and conserving loudly.
Dan and I were lured to Bourgeois Pig after discovering their extensive fondue menu. Unknown to me, the cocktail list, curated by the same mixologist as Death & Co, attracts most to this East Village hot spot. The small plates and fondue options fill the first two pages, while the rest of the thick menu lists cocktails, sangria, wine and their impressive beer selection.
We were immediately seated on the right side of the restaurant, which has a few tall stools adjacent to a wide open window. The hostess informed us that we could easily move to one of the tables once it became available, but could order and eat here if the timing wasn’t right. With our stomachs grumbling, we quickly decided on food even before glancing at the cocktail list opting to order three varieties of bruschetta and the mushroom fondue.
Shortly after ordering our food, we finally decided on drinks. Dan ordered a Belgium Pilsner, while I went a girlier route ordering the La Vie en Rose, which included Rosé, Champagne and Strawberry Sangria.
The sangria was slightly sweet and lightly carbonated from the champagne. It’s a refreshing drink with a vibrant light pink color from the rosé. Dan enjoyed his pilsner, served in a chilled glass with the bottle, so you can tell exact type of beer you are drinking.
Our order of three types of bruschetta arrived, surprisingly the both of us with how many pieces were in each order.
These crostini are phenomenal, with the super gooey varieties of cheese enhanced by each of the toppings. The taleggio is a slightly fruity and tangy, with a texture and creaminess similar to a brie. The prosciutto adds saltiness and the artichoke cuts through the richness with bitter undertones. Dan was slightly reluctant to try the brie, strawberry and mint, but the mild flavor and gooey, creamy cheese mellows out the sweetness of the fruit and herbs. This was my favorite one of the bunch. We finished with the tangy goat cheese and cooked mushrooms, a winning, simple combination.
After eating our fill in bruschetta, the bubbling pot of Mushroom Royale Fondue arrived, along with a large, marble board filled with crispy bread, roasted potatoes, apples, grapes, and antipasti.
As Lily, from How I Met Your Mother, artfully said, “It’s dipping stuff in hot cheese! What’s not to love?” The entire fondue platter goes above and beyond with endless options of what to dip into the bubbling pot of cheese and mushrooms. The fondue is comprised of two types of cheese; gruyere, which is sweet and slightly salty and emmenthaler, which is just a fancy term for Swiss cheese. Pineau des Charentes is a fortified wine with similar qualities to cognac. Finally the fondue is rounded out by the addition of thyme, an earthy herb, and roasted wild mushrooms.
Everything tastes better when coated in decadent, bubbling cheese. The roasted potatoes were a favorite of mine, creating the feel of a gratin or any kind of cheesy hang over food. Dipping crispy bread in fondue in traditional, but Bourgeois Pig kicks it up a notch adding cinnamon raisin bread into the mix. I also love apples coated in melted swiss cheese, so the beautifully sliced sweet red apples made perfect sense on the platter. It’s fun to go back and forth between the different ingredients with the cheese fondue serving as the one consistent.
When all of the potatoes were gone, the bread basket were scraps and only a few strawberries and cornichons remained on the plate, we admitted defeat. We finished off our drinks to cleanse our palate of the heavy dish.
The bill finally arrived and I was so pleasantly surprised. I have enjoyed fondue in various parts of the world, let alone New York City, and everywhere else generally charges per person. It was shocking and incredible that Bourgeois Pig serves all of this food with a single price for the dish. I wish more fondue places were like this.
Bourgeois Pig had been sitting at the bottom of my Food list for far too long and I kicking myself that I never made it here sooner. It’s a great spot for a fun date night or just to drink lots of amazing cocktails and indulge with a fun, cheese loving friend. I feel like most have never heard of this place, and it’s okay, because I’ll gladly walk in, snag a stool and enjoy some awesome, cheesy grub.
Bourgeois Pig – 111 East 7th Street – New York, NY
Location: East Village, NY
Perfect For: First Dates, Drinks, Small Plates, Date Night, Late Night,
Reservations: Not Accepted
Favorite Dishes: Bruschetta, Mushroom Royale Fondue